Energy Efficiency
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Which Direction Should My Ceiling Fan Go in Winter?

A picture of a ceiling fan

During the cold winter months, it’s a good idea to change the direction of your ceiling fans to help move warm air trapped near the ceiling to lower parts of the room – where you are! Learn how to change the direction of your ceiling fan and why it matters!

Which Direction for My Ceiling Fan in Winter? 

Your ceiling fan should spin clockwise during the colder months of the year. Fan blades turning clockwise will cause an updraft that pulls cold air upwards. Because cold air is denser than warmer air, this will push warm air back down towards the floor where you can feel and enjoy it.

Homes with Vaulted or Cathedral Ceilings Benefit More

Changing your ceiling fan direction seasonally is especially helpful if your home has high or “vaulted” ceilings. The added room height allows more warm air to rise, so your heating system works harder to maintain your thermostat setting. Homes with high ceilings benefit from running their fans whenever the heating system is running to ensure even distribution of warm air.

Should My Fan Spin Fast or Slow? 

Remember to keep your fan spinning at a low speed for two reasons.

  • Fans at low speeds will pull cold air upward more efficiently.
  • Fans at low speeds won’t cause a cooling wind chill effect.

Related: What is More Expensive, Heating or Cooling?

How to Adjust the Direction of Your Fan 

Almost all ceiling fans have a switch that reverses the fan’s direction. On most models, this switch or button is located near the base of the fan. Simply press the button or switch as indicated on the fan itself. Older fans tend to have a toggle switch. Flip the switch in the direction you want air to flow:

  • Push the switch down for counterclockwise rotation (summer direction).
  • Push the switch up for clockwise rotation (winter direction).

Smart ceiling fans can be adjusted by an app on your phone. Some smart ceiling fan models can be set on seasonal schedules or even work automatically with your home’s smart HVAC system. Your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning technician can help you find the right equipment to bring this technology home.

How Much Energy Does a Ceiling Fan Use? 

Running a ceiling fan uses between 15 and 90 watts, depending on the model, the speed setting, and the materials it is made from. On average, ceiling fans use about as much as a standard light bulb, which makes investing in a ceiling fan a smart move. If installing or upgrading your fan, always look for Energy Star-certified models, which can be up to 60% more energy efficient than non-certified alternatives.

For more energy efficiency tips, check out our Complete Guide to HVAC Energy Efficiency.

A New Spin on Home HVAC Service 

Knowing the best winter ceiling fan direction for energy efficiency is just one way to lower your home heating costs and keep your family comfortable. Trust your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning team to offer the most professional maintenance, repair, and installation services whenever your HVAC system needs an expert touch. Request an appointment or call (800) 893-3523 today.

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